Venske & Spaenle
EXHIBITION DATES: 8 April – 4 May 2013
The artists Julia Venske & Gregor Spaenle will be present at the opening.
Venske and Spaenle are collaborative artists who live in, and primarily work in, New York and Munich, but have exhibited elsewhere in the United States and Europe, as well as in Asia, Australia, and South America. The artists work in tandem to carve and create their sculptural environments.
Returning to Sydney for a solo exhibition at Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Julia Venske and Gregor Spänle present their latest sculptures in THE HOST. This quirky infusion of marble coupled with unlikely quotidian objects reflects both the humour and skilled craftsmanship of this collaborative duo.
Venske and Spänle are collaborative artists who live in, and primarily work in, New York and Munich, but have exhibited in the United States and Europe, as well as in Asia, Australia, and South America. The artists have been collaborating together since 1991 to carve and create their sculptural environments. Elan – the element of surprise – is one of their primary weapons. It is achieved through respect and understanding of the essential principles of sculpture: weight, mass, surface, texture, iconography, and theater. Noble materials are transformed into comic masses of energy, into forms full of multiple references, both organic and culturally specific.
Marble appears to morph and melt around everyday objects such as a Victoria Bitter beer bottle and a Korean cardboard box. These tongue in cheek sculptures are both captivating and daring. Marble has never gone out of fashion but has been subject to increased experimentation with contemporary artists of late. Venske & Spänle are at the forefront of this marble revival. They bring each artwork to life through labour intensive carving, sanding and polishing. In Venske & Spänle’s words, the helotroph sculptures “attach itself to things like protheses in order to experience consummation as an artistic object together with the host.”
THE HOST showcases modern materials alongside ancient materials and techniques. Their perfectly sculpted and polished abstract marble forms are far from traditional. Fluid, vital and energetic, their sculptures seem to transform before your eyes. The finely crafted surfaces are quietly energized with pent-up surface tension. The cold material has been transformed into vital, energetic individuals. Varying in size, the biomorphic forms subtly, organically create a very interesting dialogue with the space and ultimately, the viewer.